Kid Lit Reviews welcomes Angela Shelton, author of
The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton Book 1: Crash-landing on Ooleeoo.
Kid Lit Reviews generally does not delve into articles for authors unless there is something of interest to the young reader. Today will be an exception. Ms. Shelton is writing on the importance of the teacher-writer relationship.
Children’s Authors Should Work with Local Teachers
If you are writing for children, there is a wealth of help, inspiration, and young readers in your own community.
I discovered it for myself when I reached out to local teachers.
When you write for young readers, the best person to know is their teacher.
Become a Teacher’s Helper
Request a meeting with your local teachers and tell them you’re a children’s author and would like to make sure your book helps them as much as it can in their classroom.
They will get excited. Teachers love books. On their budgets, they like free books too. They also love it when authors contact them.
Not many authors reach out to local teachers and they are craving new content to use – especially with the New Core Standards being implemented.
Give Teachers Copies of Your Manuscript
You don’t have to wait until your publisher sends you the final edit or the book is out already to start getting input from teachers. It’s actually better to seek out the educators in the early stages of your book, because they will usually point out things that you never thought of.
Ask the teachers to read your book and if they like it to share it with their class. If they decide to read it to their class, urge them to tell the kids that this is a sneak peek from the author before the book is even available! That makes it exciting to the little ones. They are in on something top secret! They love being asked their opinions and they will share them too. It also gives the teacher material for their class!
You might think it would be great for you to be in the class to witness this reading, but it’s actually better for you not to be. You don’t want to create any distraction. You want to know what the kids really thought of your book, not of you – not yet!
Listen to Your Teacher
Ask the teachers to be completely honest with you. If their feedback is bad, you won’t yell, or cry – until you’re in private.
You want to know what the teacher thought about your book, what grade level they think your book is for, and if there is anything else you could provide that would help the teacher and the kids.
You want to know what the kids thought, if they were attentive, where they lost focus if they did, what they liked best about the story and which characters were their favorite.
You can greatly enhance your book with their help.
My Magic Hat Shop
When I handed over copies of the rough draft of my book to some local teachers I received extraordinary help. First of all, my publisher and I thought that my young reader books were for five-year-olds. The teachers told me they were for K-3 because they could be read aloud in kindergarden(sic) and first grade, used in tier time reading in second grade, and read on their own in third grade.
The teachers were also very happy with the vocabulary in my book, Tilda Pinkerton’s Magical Hats. They requested that we create a glossary in the back along with a Smart Board Friendly website to go along with the book.
I honestly didn’t even know what a smart board was! Now I do! We made one – MagicHatShop.com.
The teachers tested out the site and shared how the kids loved the book and the characters, especially the green hairless cat, Gabby Gab. They wanted to draw her. So… we created free downloads of coloring pages.
All of this is a sneak peek at my books just to let you know how vital teachers were in the process. Due to their involvement, we’ve actually postponed the release of my books for another three months so we can create more teacher-friendly activities on the site.
We are also shooting a series of puppet videos sponsored by Folkmanis Puppets to explain the definitions of the bigger words in the glossary – all inspired by teachers.
Listen to Your Teacher!
http://tildapinkerton.com/ Twitter - https://twitter.com/angelashelton Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/AngelaSheltonFanPage Angela’s Book Blog - http://magicalhatshop.com/ Sneak Peek at the Smart Board Website - http://magichatshop.com/ .......................
Thank you Angela for an informative post. Look for Angela’s middle grade novel The Adventures of Tilda Tinkerton, Book 1: Crash-Landing on Ooleeoo here at Kid Lit Reviews this coming January, 2013!